LOS ANGELES — Bronny James warmed up with his No. 16 USC teammates before a game for the first time this season after suffering a cardiac arrest in July during a team workout — a development his father, LeBron James, praised as a next step toward his return to play.
Bronny James has yet to make his collegiate debut. After his cardiac arrest, he underwent successful surgery to repair what his family referred to as a likely congenital heart defect.
“It’s awesome having him back and on the team with us and participating with us,” USC guard Kobe Johnson said after the Trojans beat Brown 81-70. “We want him back as soon as possible, but we want him to be as healthy as possible when he comes back. Every day we pray that he keeps getting better and hopefully sometime this year he’s able to get on the floor with us.”
James has done some individual work before games but hadn’t been on the court warming up with his teammates before Sunday’s game.
“It was great. He went through warmups with the team. He’s a big part of our program and our team. He’s a terrific teammate,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “We look forward to hopefully one day getting him back on the court, but when that day is, that’s not my decision. We’re going to be patient and go through the process.”
On Nov. 6, LeBron James told reporters that if his son passed a medical examination later this month, he would return to practice with the intention of appearing in game action this season.
“Today’s game was the first game he got an opportunity to warm up with his team,” LeBron James said Sunday. “So, he’s almost there. … He’s almost there.”
Bronny James played his high school career at Sierra Canyon, just north of Los Angeles, and is a freshman guard for the Trojans.
Following USC’s game Sunday, Bronny James made the short downtown trip from the Galen Center to Crypto.Com Arena to see his dad score 37 points, including the go-ahead free throw, in the Lakers’ 105-104 victory over the Houston Rockets.
“It was great to have him here. To see my man with a smile,” LeBron James said. “Anybody who’s got college kids, you know they leave and you might not see him for a week or two and then they show up at your house for laundry and a warm, fresh meal. It makes me super-duper happy.”
LeBron James also pointed out Sunday was the first time he had seen his son in two weeks.
“It’s OK. He’s got school, practice and he’s training,” he said. “Listen, the boy’s 19 years old. That’s what FaceTime video is for.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.